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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1865

Friday 27th

27 January 1865

Sunday 29th

29 January 1865
28 January 1865
Saturday 28th



For the first time this year the sun shone in clear across the dining room at breakfast time. The whole day was fine although the snow melted but little. Mrs Adams is now pronounced so far well that no further obstruction is placed in the way of her departure. A visit from Mr Dudley, the consul at Liverpool, who is as usual exercised by the various operations of the rebels here. I have got along past this anxiety. Their labor has done something to procrastinate the struggle, but has effected nothing else. At half past one o’clock I drove to the Foreign office to see Lord Russell. I told him that I had not much of especial interest to talk about, but acting in accordance with the hint in his private note, I had taken the opportunity of some small matters to come. I had received from Mr Seward forms of several answers to be made to addresses sent from here to the President, and at the same time instructions not to send them without first submitting them to him. I read one or two of them, to which he made no objection. He however said that he had thought the answers generally very judicious and proper. He alluded to a reference to slavery in one of them, and observed that the ground taken by the President was not his original position. I replied that the difference was due only to his change of situation. At the outset he was restrained by the law which unequivocally prohibited any interference with the internal Institutions of the States, beyond the express concession in the Constitution. The moment the insurgents threw them off this protection and appealed to force, he was clothed with a new agency which he was very ready to use, and which had proved very effective. His Lordship then said we appeared to be now having it187 all pretty much our own way. He then spoke of Lord Lyons, who he said was getting better, and had promised to see him. I infer from this that he may yet go back. We then had some general conversation on the reciprocity Treaty and the requisition for passports. I expressed my regret at the attempt to annul the first and the introduction of the last. He just lightly intimated that if the effect should be to check the Canadian tendency to favor the insurgents, there would be little harm in that. This is the closes approximation to a sentiment which I have ever experienced in my relations with his Lordship. I have always believed that he is in his heart sympathized with our cause. But he has not been unaware of the prejudices of his class, and therefore as a Minister has studied neutrality to such an extent as really to lean in his official language against us. The rest of the day passed off quietly. Customary walk, and quiet evening, on Mill and Palfrey.

Cite web page as:

Charles Francis Adams, Sr., [date of entry], diary, in Charles Francis Adams, Sr.: The Civil War Diaries (Unverified Transcriptions). Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2015. http://www.masshist.org/publications/cfa-civil-war/view?id=DCA65d028